Thursday, April 3, 2008
The Social Contract Theory of Morality
Some unbelievers may say: “We agree that life in society would be disastrous without laws. We need laws to put reasonable limits on the potentially intrusive behavior of others so we can get on with the business of doing our own thing. But these laws need not be based on the authority of God or an external absolute. Law works just fine as a social contract among individuals in society. We all mutually agree to give up a little freedom so that all can enjoy a reasonable amount of freedom. We determine our morality not by some overarching absolute standard of right and wrong but by the consensus of society. By common agreement, everyone accepts the morality expressed by the will of the majority.” This theory, the social contract theory, contains two flaws, both deadly. (To be continued).